Two St. Paul men charged for meth possession

DEA seizes 6 pounds, scales and ledger after sting at Maplewood restaurant

Two St. Paul men are facing federal charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. The charge was filed by the Minnesota district of the United States Attorney's Office on April 22, 2013. The two men are identified as Antonio Ceron-Santos, 40, and Avimael Armenta-Hernandez, 27.

An affidavit from the United States District Court states that March 28, the defendants were arrested in a police sting with one pound of meth in a parking lot in Maplewood. Five pounds more were found at a house linked to the men.

The previous day, March 27, an undercover officer met with the men in a Maplewood restaurant. There, he made arrangements to buy one pound of meth from the men the next day in the parking lot of the restaurant, according to the affidavit.

The day of the sale, the undercover officer called the men to confirm the sale. Surveillance crews who were in contact with the undercover officer observed the men leaving their home at 526 E. Curtice St. on St. Paul's West Side, in a Ford Expedition. The surveillance crews then followed the men to the Maplewood location.

From there, the undercover officer met the men in the parking lot and climbed into their vehicle, where the two men showed the officer the one pound of meth. The undercover officer signaled to other law enforcement officers that he had seen the meth, and the officers converged on the vehicle.

Law enforcement recovered the drugs and arrested the two men.

The affidavit says both men gave voluntary statements after their Miranda rights were read to them. Ceron-Santos reportedly admitted to selling meth, saying he worked for Armenta-Hernandez. He said Armenta-Hernandez had recently returned from Arizona with a batch of the drug, and that they would find more meth at the house they were living in on East Curtice, the affidavit states.

Armenta-Hernandez denied any knowledge of or involvement in meth distribution.

Law enforcement also searched the house, the affidavit states.

There, they seized five additional pounds of meth. In a basement bedroom of the house, they found a drug ledger which they determined belongs to Armenta-Hernandez. Officers also found "a scale typically used to weigh illegal narcotics," according to a statement form the United States Attorney's office.

If convicted, the two men could face a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. As the federal criminal justice system does not offer parole, the men will likely end up serving most or all of any sentence handed down.

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